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Maryland wrestling hires Alex Clemsen as new head coach

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Clemsen gets his first head coaching position after four years as Missouri’s associate head coach.

Maryland wrestling officially has a new head coach. Director of Athletics Damon Evans announced Tuesday afternoon that former Missouri associate head coach Alex Clemsen will take charge of the program.

Clemsen helped develop three NCAA individual title winners and 22 All-Americans with the Tigers. During his five years with the program, Missouri went 84-7 in dual meets and had five consecutive top-six team finishes at the NCAA Championships.

Prior to his time at Missouri, Clemsen spent five seasons as an assistant head coach at Virginia. In his first season with the Cavaliers, they won their first ACC Championship since 1977. Before that, he was the director or wrestling operations at Oregon State for two years.

Kerry McCoy, who was the Terps’ head coach for 11 seasons, announced in March he would step down after this year’s NCAA Championships. For the second consecutive season, his team finished without a dual meet victory in Big Ten play. Maryland posted a 2-12 record and hasn’t had a winning season since its ACC days.

“I’m honored to have been selected as the head coach of the Maryland wrestling program,” Clemsen said in a press release. “I’m excited to compete in the strongest conference in collegiate wrestling and I truly believe this program has what it takes to consistently compete on the national level. I cannot wait to get going with our team and hit the ground running.”

He’ll have an upward battle though. With Youssif Hemida, Alfred Bannister and Ryan Diehl all graduating, the Terps won’t have any wrestlers on their roster next season who have qualified for the NCAA Tournament. But Clemsen comes in with a strong recruiting history, having helped assemble three top-10 and five top-20 recruiting classes during his career.

“We’re thrilled to name Alex Clemsen as our next head wrestling coach,” Evans said in the program’s release. “His dedication to developing student-athletes both on and off the mat will serve him well as the leader of our program. It is an exciting time for the Maryland wrestling program.”